Well, Massa needed a win, or at the very least a strong performance with all four wheels staying firmly on the Tarmac, and he delivered. From when the red lights went out he dominated a fairly uneventful race for the two Ferrari cars and finished over three seconds ahead of his Finnish team-mate.
He has a good record in Bahrain, having won there last year ahead of Hamilton and Raikkonen, but the fact that he managed to drive such a dominant race after so much criticism was a testament to his mental and driving ability. I am not saying he is cured of his moments – but if he can drive like this for the rest of the reason, they will be forgotten by many.
As for the McLarens, Hamilton had yet another disastrous race. He was extremely slow off the line, his car looking as though he tried to draw away in 3rd, and dropped back to 10th place. He then slammed into the back of Alonso and consequently had to pit for a new nose cone. With the rest of his race hampered by a heavy fuel load and traffic he came home a disappointing 13th.
His team-mate, however, drove an undramatic race to finish 5th. It is obvious that the BMWs are quicker than the McLarens now (or at least in Bahrain) and hopefully for the Woking-based squad they will have found more speed from somewhere, come the European season. If not, they will be the ‘BMWs of 2008’ – the team that is relying on others not to finish in order to score good points and finish on the podium. Something that none of them would accept.
But well done Kovalainen, he may not have the raw pace of Hamilton but his lows are much higher than Hamilton’s when things go wrong. Something that, come Australia, may well count towards beating his team-mate in the Championship standings.
The BMWs both looked strong with Kubica finishing 3rd, and Heidfeld only three and a half seconds behind him. They have had a remarkable start to the season – lets hope they can continue competing for the podium. They certainly have one of the strongest driver line-ups on the grid.
|7.||Webber||Red Bull||+45.4 secs||11||2|
|12.||Fisichella||F India||+1 Lap||18|
|16.||Davidson||S Aguri||+1 Lap||21|
|17.||Sato||S Aguri||+1 Lap||22|
|18.||Coulthard||Red Bull||+1 Lap||17|
|19.||Sutil||F India||+2 Laps||20|